Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Listen, ye warriors about Cruachu!
with its barrow for every noble couple:
O host whence springs lasting fame of laws!
O royal line of the men of Connacht!
- 5] O host of the true, long-remembered exploits,
with number of pleasant companies and of brave kings!
O people, quickest in havoc
to whom Erin has pledged various produce!
- Manly in battle-rout multitudinous
10] is the seed of noble Brian, with their strong fleets:
in express submission to them have been sent
hostages from all Europe to Cruachu.
- If we stay to recount its fame for every power,
we shall not be able to pour out the lore of noble science
15] for Cruachu, holy without austerity,
whose foemen are not few.
- Known to me by smooth-spoken eulogy
is the designation of powerful Cruachu:
not slight the din, the uproar,
20] whence it got its name and fame for bright achievement.
- Eochaid Airem high career!
when the fierce, generous man was at Fremu,
the man who cherished feats of skill,
holding a meeting for horse-fights,
- 25] There came to them noble Midir
(he was no favourite with the gentle prince)
to carry off Etain in dreadful wise,
whence came lamentation of many tribes.
- Ill-favoured was the man who bore off
30] Etain and hardy Crochen
the queen and her handmaid,
who was right lowly, yet ever-famous.
- Westward Midir bore the fair captives
after boldly seizing them as booty,
35] to Sid Sinche of the ancient hosts,
because it was noble Midir's hereditary possession.
- Till three days were out he stayed
in the radiant noisy Sid:
after fruitful enterprise it is custom
40] to boast at board and banquet.
- Then said strong Crochen
What fine house is this where we have halted?
O Midir of the splendid feats,
is this thy spacious dwelling?"
- 45] The answer of the famous man of arts
to Crochen blood-red of hue:
' Nearer to the sun, to its warmth,
is my bright and fruitful home."
- Said Cruachu the lovely,
50] in presence of the spacious tribes,
"O Midir, yet unconquered,
shall my name be on this Sid?"
- He gave the fine dwelling as reward for her journey
to Crochen, a fair recompense:
55] by Midir, report says, northward at his home,
by him her name was given to it as ye hear.
- Hence men say Cruachu,
(it is not hidden from kindly tribes,)
since Midir brought (clear without falsehood)
60] his wife to Sinech of the Side.
- As for Midir, he was no sluggard thereafter,
he went to Bri Leith maic Celtchair:
he carried with him the bright indolent lady, whitely radiant,
whom he bore off by force from Fremu.
- 65] Eochaid at the head of the numerous ranks
of his brave troop,
was on the track of Midir, the great champion.
- Said his druid to Eochaid,
70] "Thou shalt not be fortunate all thy life long:
lamentation for evil has come upon thee
for the loss of Etain of the golden tresses:"
- "Come from the judgment-seat of Fotla
without warning, without royal proclamation;
75] bring with thee thereafter to Bri Leith
thy host no cowards they to sack it."
- "There shalt thou find thy wife
in noble beauty, beyond denial:
be not faint-hearted for long, O warrior;
80] bring her with thee by consent or by force."
- This is a beginning, with famous perils,
for the proud Wooing of Etain,
though it be a pithy tale to hear,
the tale when men came to Cruachu to listen to it.
- 85] It was Crochen of pure Cruachu
who was mother of Medb great of valour:
she was in Cruachu it was an open reproach-
awhile with Etain's spouse.